Big surprise! Sometime between Tuesday and yesterday, the fourth egg hatched. (This youngest bird hatched out of the first egg laid, and we didn't have high hopes for it.)
The young birds will grow fast, and will fledge--leave their nest--sometime in mid July. They'll stay with their parents for about two months afterward, learning to hunt. First the parents catch prey and the young birds learn to snatch it from them in mid-air. When they get good at that, the chicks start learning to hunt on their own.
Here's the sobering truth, though: On average, only two juveniles successfully fledge per nest. And the first year is dangerous. But a peregrine that survives the first year has a good shot at a long life. Some birds have even lived to be 18-20, but that's not typical. An average lifespan is more likely somewhere between 2 and 8 years.
Here are earlier 2007 falcon updates, as well as the story of the 2006 season. Or learn more about peregrines, and get to know Athena.
Visitors to the museum get to name falcon chicks. Right now, we're taking name suggestions. Later on, we'll turn those into a visitor poll, and the names with the most votes will go to the chicks.